Jackalynn E. Sellers
Cyber related crimes are increasing at a rapid rate across the world. Hacking and viruses are used to steal important personal information. Understanding cyber-crime is essential to understand how criminals are using the Internet to commit various crimes and what can be done to prevent these crimes from happening. This paper will cover different cyber-crimes and information on what the average Internet user can do to protect themselves from falling victim to cyber-crimes.
Keywords: Cyber Security, Cyber Crime
The Internet is a place saturated with information and over the years, information has become more easily accessible than ever before. How much information that is chosen to be shared on the Internet should be carefully considered. A simple post to any social media site could give out more personal information than originally intended. Cyber security is a priority with the growing use and ease of access of the Internet. If an internet user is not careful about the information given over to cyberspace, the user’s identity could easily be stolen or their finances drained. Cyber security is important not just to the government but also to the average user.
To understand why cyber security is needed and important, an understanding of cybercrime is required. Cybercrime is any illicit activity that is performed on the Internet or any network-based device. These crimes include identity theft, viruses, cyber stalking, and phishing.
Identity theft occurs when a hacker steals information from personal accounts such as banking information, social security numbers, and addresses. The hacker will then use this information to create accounts in the victim’s name. Being aware of encrypted websites and having adequate measures of protection when imputing this information into websites is essential to even the less-than average user of internet.
Computer viruses are pieces of code that are usually attached to downloadable files. When the file is running the code of the virus activates and proceeds to spread throughout computer files. These viruses infect vital information and can lead to deletion or corruption of important system files. Some viruses will also allow personal information and files to be accessed by another user.
Cyber stalking is a crime that occurs when a person is being harassed by another person in an online setting. The victim is often bombarded with messages not just to themselves, but also to family members or friends. Threats are often received by the victim as a tactic to get the victim to reply. Often the victim will suffer from anxiety and fear.
Phishing is a crime where electronic mail is sent to the victim that mimics banking institutions or other financial or personal information accounts. The victim, if not careful, will enter their personal information on a site that mimics very closely the website used for personal information. It is important for a potential victim to be aware of email addresses associated with bank accounts and other sites that may contain personal information.
The increase on cyber-attacks all over the world is pressing the need for updated cyber security. The United States created the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) in 1988 after a wide-spread break in of the Internet. The CERT has no authority to arrest or prosecute hackers but it does provide constant security of international information on the Internet. Interpol has also set up the “I-24/7” communication system for internet-based policing to report any crimes found.
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Altogether, the average user of the Internet can protect themselves from cyber-crimes by being aware of what information is being put on the Internet and being aware that the information can be seen at any time by any person in the world. There are departments of security in place for the more serious cyber-crimes and reports can be made to these departments of any cyber-attacks. Advances are constantly being made to police the Internet and cyberspace.
Goutam, R. K. (2015). Importance of Cyber Security. International Journal of Computer Applications, 111(7) doi:10.5120/19550-1250
Williams, B. K. Sawyer, S. C. (2015) Using Information Technology. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill Education
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